What are the Benefits of Outsourcing IT Services for Law Firms?
Legal process outsourcing is commonplace among law firms, but an increasing number of attorneys are now turning to IT outsourcing as well. This shift has largely been prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic — events that led to an increase in remote work and the usage of technology to get the job done.
Law firms face some unique challenges and also enjoy significant benefits as they outsource IT services.
Benefit #1 – Privacy and Confidentiality
Legal professionals confront stringent requirements surrounding confidentiality and privacy. Elevated security measures are a consideration too, both for the actual law offices and the IT infrastructure that’s utilized by the legal team and support staff.
By outsourcing IT needs to an off-site team, law firms enjoy a degree of separation between the IT professional(s) and the work that’s occurring on-site at the legal offices. This creates a scenario where the IT professionals are not accidentally exposed to sensitive information.
Beyond this, an experienced IT expert will be well-positioned to implement measures that will maximize privacy and confidentiality. This can take many forms like geofencing, encryption, multi-factor authentication, and customized permissions to prevent a user from accessing more information than is necessary to complete their job.
Confidentiality and privacy concerns must also be addressed as law firms implement new technologies such as video conferencing and cloud-based data storage. You’re much more likely to get an optimal result when outsourcing a law firm’s IT services to a team that’s experienced with the unique privacy needs of legal professionals.
Benefit #2 – Security and Legal Data
Law firms have some unique security requirements when it comes to their data, but a run-of-the-mill “IT guy” may lack the knowledge and expertise that’s required to protect sensitive legal information. The wrong type of encryption or the wrong data storage configuration can have disastrous effects.
Just think of how much damage could arise if privileged information fell into the wrong hands. The impact could be even greater if privileged information for a high-profile case is made public thanks to the work of a hacker. This kind of event could harm an individual’s ability to get a fair trial or even spur a national social justice movement.
The importance of securing legal data cannot be underestimated. By outsourcing data-related IT tasks to an experienced professional, law firms can be confident that their data is safe, secure, and appropriately encrypted in a cloud-based data storage platform.
A data specialist can also help establish data handling processes that align with the legal firm’s operational needs, without compromising security. This way, the law professionals can make the most of their data and documents, while simultaneously minimizing security risks.
Benefit #3 – Greater Adaptability With New Technology
Technology allows for improved adaptability. In turn, this translates into greater productivity, more profitability, and a better experience for a law firm’s employees and clients.
For example, the past couple of years have seen a rapid evolution in how law firms interact with clients, courts, witnesses, and individuals who are sought out for depositions and other legal processes. The COVID-19 pandemic essentially forced the legal field to overcome its reluctance in shifting from in-person conversations to virtual video conferencing and other technological solutions.
With in-person interactions just not possible in many cases, law offices were prompted to seek out secure, compliant communication solutions. For some legal firms, these changes have been mission-critical to allow for participation in client discussions, court proceedings, and other legal proceedings. Yet many lacked the on-staff expertise needed to implement suitable IT solutions. Enter outsourced IT services — a practical and cost-effective option for adding new technological capabilities like secure video conferencing, secure document sharing, virtual collaboration, and so on.
This also applies to the new technology that we’re seeing in courtrooms across the United States and beyond. Increasingly, attorneys are leveraging technology to enhance their work in the courtroom, from sophisticated animations and graphics to AI and machine learning-powered modeling and so forth.
Technology is being used in some new and innovative ways to convey information to judges and juries. But law firms require help from professionals to create and then present that technology. Outsourcing these tasks is ideal since most law firms aren’t large enough to support the hire of full-time IT experts in an array of specialties. At the end of the day, the law firm is empowered to make use of today’s most eye-catching and compelling technologies to augment their presentations in the courtroom and beyond.
Benefit #4 – Expanded IT Capabilities as Needs Arise
Many legal firms simply aren’t large enough to support a full-time IT professional. It’s common for a law firm to have hybrid positions. Think of the “web-developer-and-IT guy.” In these cases, you’re limited by the knowledge and skills of one individual who is often a “Jack of all trades, master of none.” This can make it difficult to maintain — much less expand — IT capabilities.
The ability to expand and improve their technology in an expedient, cost-effective way is a huge benefit that can be obtained through outsourcing IT services for law firms. Outsourced IT solutions are ideal since the services can be provided on a short-term, as-needed basis. The outsourced tech team can come in, architect a solution, implement the solution, and then provide support and training. Once the project is finished, they move on to the next client. The law firm enjoys its new technology, without the long-term cost and commitment of a permanent hire.
Additionally, many IT staffing service providers offer the added flexibility of semi-permanent IT staffing solutions in the event a law firm finds it needs help on a more regular or long-term basis. This on-demand IT staffing is ideal for businesses such as law offices because it allows for adjustments in response to fluctuations in client/case volume.
At RiseIT™, we are well-versed on the needs of law firms and their IT outsourcing needs. We invite you to reach out to learn more about how our outsourced IT services can benefit your law offices.